Hot flash study examines diabetes

Tue, 10 Oct 2006
A University of Texas researcher has been awarded a $218,000 federal grant to pursue an unusual theory about hot flashes . She wants to see whether plunging blood sugar causes that rush of internal heat and whether hot flashes might one day be tamed the way many diabetics control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.

First, nursing assistant professor Sharon Dormire must determine whether a sudden drop in blood sugar levels causes hot flashes, which includes symptoms of sweating, interrupted sleep, memory problems and anxiety, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman said. She said falling blood glucose can cause similar symptoms in diabetes .

"The two experiences are very well-correlated," Dormire said.

If Dormire`s theory proves true, women suffering hot flashes could avoid drug therapy and possibly treated by exercise and eating six small meals a day to even out their sugar levels.

Hot flashes affect eight in 10 menopausal women and usually are treated with hormonal therapy.

In one study, women who had hot flashes scored lower on mental tests than women who did not have them, she said. Similarly, in diabetics, a lack of glucose in the brain can lead to memory changes, Dormire said.

Dormire received a $218,000 grant for her research, the American-Statesman said.
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